New Zine Collection

The GLBT Library is proud to debut the new zine collection! These new materials in the library offer an intimate and alternative voice from the queer community.

What are zines?
Zines are self-published, low-circulating works that include both text and image. The term is an abbreviation of “fanzine” or “magazine” and is unlimited in the scope of its contents. Zines can include poetry and prose, political commentary, photography, drawings, collages, and just about anything else.

Our new zine collection!
Our new zine collection!
Though Thomas Paine’s Common Sense (1775) has been cited as a precursor, modern zines have a stronger connection to DIY (do-it-yourself) cultures. Because of this, zine creators are often interested in topics such as social justice, feminism, sexuality, media, and identity, among others.

Since zines have no standard format (often made my photocopies, appropriation, and staples), essentially anyone can make one. This offers the possibility of disseminating an alternative democratic voice, free from censorship by major publishing companies. Queer folks, historically oppressed by mainstream authorities, have taken advantage of this medium as a platform for sharing their beliefs and experiences.

Since zines are typically limited in their number of copies, the GLBT Library’s collection will be non-circulating. This policy is to ensure the preservation of these rare items and to offer everyone the opportunity to check them out. If you’re interested in photocopying the zines or borrowing them for a presentation, please consult the GLBT Library Coordinator to make arrangements at

We’ll be featuring new zines on our Twitter, so be sure to follow us @GLBTlibrary!

The GLBT Library is currently working on some programs in conjunction with the “inauguration” of this collection — stay tuned! (Especially if you’re interested in making zines!)

Navigating the Library

The Library can be a daunting place. Too often are students expected to understand our organizational methods without proper introductions. This can be especially intimidating at the GLBT Library, where students may not be familiar with our special classification scheme, based on the Lavender Library, Archives and Cultural Exchange of Sacramento Inc. (LLACE). Then there’s also the issue of navigating our space. The GLBT Library is small, but with all the walls covered in books and DVDs, it can be challenging to find exactly what you need. Patrons need to be able to find exactly what they are looking for, and in some cases they need to find them quickly. Closeted, questioning, or curious students who may feel shy about entering the GLBT Student Support Services Office deserve full access to our library’s collections, and they may not have the time to spend 20 minutes leisurely browsing.

We have done our best to catalog our library materials through LibraryThing so that patrons can see if we carry what they are looking for. It is searchable by titles, authors, and subject tags. Access our catalog here.

We have also created a color-coordinated map of the space to help facilitate browsing:
Map of Library
Here are also some quick tips for searching in our collection:
-The library’s books are divided into non-fiction (in orange) and fiction/literature (in green).
-The Coming Out section is found on Shelf 4 on the map. The call number for these books start at 6.130!
-Our materials are sometimes marked on their spines with a G(ay), L(esbian), B(isexual), T(rans*), Q(ueer), A(sexual), or I(ntersex). We have tried our hardest to be inclusive, and hope that materials related to these topics are easier to find.
-The zine collection will be starting in Fall 2015. Keep an eye out for some exciting new publications!
-The computer is free to use and has full Internet access. The LibraryThing catalog can be accessed through a desktop shortcut.

If you ever have any problems, questions, or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the GLBT Library Coordinator at

Spring Collection Development

LibraryAs our school year comes to a close, the GLBT Office is tasked with the always difficult, but very rewarding, duty of ordering new materials for the GLBT Library. After compiling an extensive list of titles (worth at least 4 times our budget), I managed to whittle it down according to our strategic goals. My main concern for acquisitions was diversity, that our collection had something for everyone. Some of our underrepresented collections include comics, animated films, and horror – all of which are included in our wishlist. More importantly, we will be ordering works that relate to issues of intersectionality, including crip theory, body types, fetishism, race theory, and others. I also hope to expand our resources for underrepresented sexes, sexualities, and genders, including bisexuality, intersex, and trans* issues.

In addition to ensuring that we have the “quintessential” titles and new releases, catering to as many patrons as possible in a variety of mediums and subjects is always a challenge. In the end, I believe we’ll be receiving some very exciting titles this summer!

If you’ll be around, stop by the GLBT Office periodically to check out a book or movie! We’ll continue our regular office hours of Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm, all summer long. Good luck with finals!

Biphobia and Bi Erasure

What do these two terms mean?

Male_and_female_sign.svgBiphobia is to bisexuals as homophobia is to homosexuals. Except people who identify as bisexual can also face homophobia. And homosexuals can be biphobic. Bisexual people face scrutiny from all ends of the spectrum of sexuality. Why? In many cases it’s because people believe that bisexuality doesn’t exist. Too often are bisexuals told that they’re being indecisive or that they’re going through a phase. This is considered bi erasure, a manifestation of biphobia. Homosexuals are just as likely to be guilty of bi erasure, and are sometimes more likely to be biphobic to reaffirm their own monosexual relationships. Bisexuals are often seen as promiscuous, tarnishing the gay and lesbian attempt to achieve heteronormative unions.

Even if this were the case, participation in polyamory should not be a reason to ex-communicate a group of people who have undergone similar oppression on the basis of their sexual orientation. More importantly, the myth that bisexual people are unable to love or commit in the same ways a homosexual or heterosexual can needs to be eliminated. Some bisexual people commit to long term monogamous relationships, some bisexual people enjoy short term sexual relations — the same happens for all sexual orientations and should not be a factor in determining the validity of one’s sexual identity. Bisexual people exist. It’s time to get over it.

March is Bisexual Health Awareness Month, and this year’s theme is Mental Health. Don’t forget to let the bisexual people in your life know that you care — that you acknowledge and validate their identity. The fact of the matter is bisexual people are more likely to suffer from depression, substance abuse, and thoughts of suicide than both homosexuals and heterosexuals. We need to let bisexual people know that they are a part of the greater LGBT community.

Bisexual PoliticsStop by the LGBT Library to check out some of our resources.

Free counseling is also available. Contact to schedule an appointment.

For more information on bisexual health, check out:

More recent additions to the library!

Here are some more of our recent acquisitions, just waiting to jump from our shelves into your hands! Want to find something you read about here? Search our Library Thing catalog, or email!

Eminent Outlaws: The Gay Writers Who Changed America – by Christopher Bram

Eminent Outlaws Book CoverThis volume explores how the trailblazing, post-war gay literary figures, including Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal, Truman Capote, and Allen Ginsberg, paved the way for newer generations, including Armistead Maupin, Edmund White, and Edward Albee that are so familiar to the literary-minded LGBT readers of today.






Almost Perfect – by Brian Katcher

Almost Perfect Book CoverLogan Witherspoon recently discovered that his girlfriend of three years cheated on him. But things start to look up when a new student breezes through the halls of his small-town high school. Sage Hendricks befriends Logan at a time when he no longer trusts or believes in people. Sage has been homeschooled for a number of years and her parents have forbidden her to date anyone, but she won’t tell Logan why. One day, Logan acts on his growing feelings for Sage. Moments later, he wishes he never had. Sage finally discloses her big secret: she’s actually a boy. Enraged, frightened, and feeling betrayed, Logan lashes out at Sage and disowns her. Once Logan comes to terms with what happened, he reaches out to Sage in an attempt to understand her situation. But Logan has no idea how rocky the road back to friendship will be.

Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama – by Alison Bechdel

Are You My Mother Book CoverAlison Bechdel’s Fun Home was a pop culture and literary phenomenon. Now, a second thrilling tale of filial sleuthery, this time about her mother: voracious reader, music lover, passionate amateur actor. Also a woman, unhappily married to a closeted gay man, whose artistic aspirations simmered under the surface of Bechdel’s childhood . . . and who stopped touching or kissing her daughter good night, forever, when she was seven. Poignantly, hilariously, Bechdel embarks on a quest for answers concerning the mother-daughter gulf. It’s a richly layered search that leads readers from the fascinating life and work of the iconic twentieth-century psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, to one explosively illuminating Dr. Seuss illustration, to Bechdel’s own (serially monogamous) adult love life. And, finally, back to Mother—to a truce, fragile and real-time, that will move and astonish all adult children of gifted mothers.

Body Outlaws: Young Women Write About Body Image and Identity

Body Outlaws Book CoverIn a culture where plastic surgery has become nearly as routine as a root canal, we’ve all but erased the unmodified figure from our imaginations. Pick up a magazine, turn on the TV, and you’ll find few women who haven’t been fried, dyed, plucked or tucked. In short, you’ll see no body outlaws.

In fresh and incisive essays, the writers in Body Outlaws reveal a world where bodies come in all their many-splendored shapes, sizes, colors and textures. In doing so, they expand the national dialogue about body image to include race, ethnicity, sexuality and power – issues that, while often overlooked, are intimately linked to how women feel about their bodies. Filled with honesty and humor, this groundbreaking anthology offers stories by women who have chosen to ignore, subvert, or redefine the dominant beauty standard in order to feel at home in their bodies.

Bulletproof Faith: A Spiritual Survival Guide for Gay and Lesbian Christians – by Candace Chellew-Hodge

Bulletproof Faith Book CoverThis thoughtful, practical guide shows readers a way through the minefield of condemnation and persecution faced by gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Christians and helps foster a faith that is bulletproof—impervious to attacks, yet loving and savvy in its approach. Bulletproof Faith is filled with useful insights and proven spiritual practices that deflect attacks and enhance and strengthen faith by turning attacks into opportunities for spiritual growth.




Conundrum – by Jan Morris

Conundrum Book CoverThe great travel writer Jan Morris was born James Morris. James Morris distinguished himself in the British military, became a successful and physically daring reporter, climbed mountains, crossed deserts, and established a reputation as a historian of the British empire. He was happily married, with several children. To all appearances, he was not only a man, but a man’s man.

Except that appearances, as James Morris had known from early childhood, can be deeply misleading. James Morris had known all his conscious life that at heart he was a woman.

Conundrum, one of the earliest books to discuss transsexuality with honesty and without prurience, tells the story of James Morris’s hidden life and how he decided to bring it into the open, as he resolved first on a hormone treatment and, second, on risky experimental surgery that would turn her into the woman that she truly was.

Cunt: A Declaration of Independence – by Inga Muscio

Cunt Book CoverAn ancient title of respect for women, the word “cunt” long ago veered off this noble path. Inga Muscio traces the road from honor to expletive, giving women the motivation and tools to claim “cunt” as a positive and powerful force in their lives. With humor and candor, she shares her own history as she explores the cultural forces that influence women’s relationships with their bodies.




Emerald City Blues – by Jean Stewart

Emerald City Blues Book CoverWhen the comfortable yuppie world of Chris Olson and Jenifer Hart collides with the desperate lives of Reb and Flynn, two lesbian runaways struggling to survive on the streets of Seattle, the forcast is trouble. A gritty, enormously readable novel of contemporary lesbigay life which raises real questions about the meaning of family and community, and about the walls we construct. A celebration of the healing powers of love.





The Evolution of Ethan Poe – by Robin Reardon

Evolution of Ethan Poe Book CoverEthan Poe, sixteen and gay, struggles for balance while his life conspires to pull him in many different directions. His parents are divorcing; his older brother Kyle is damaging his right hand in the name of purity; his best friend is a Jesus freak who prays for him to be straight; he’s desperate to get his driver’s license, but he can’t seem to get enough supervised driving time. He’s just starting to see light in the form of Max Modine, a boy he wants to know much better than he does, when his rural Maine town begins to explode around him. Against his intentions he gets pulled into a pitched and sometimes violent conflict about whether to introduce Intelligent Design into science classrooms. Friendships end, families are torn apart, and the school becomes a battleground. Always seeking elusive balance, Ethan finds his way through a maze of lost friends, new love, and the mysteries of tattoos and power animals, with help from quarters where he never expected to find it. And he gains something better than balance.

Feeling Wrong in Your Own Body: Understanding What it Means to be Transgender

Feeling Wrong in Your Own Body  Book CoverBoys who play with Barbie dolls. Girls who join the football team. What is gender? What are gender roles? What’s the difference between being a tomboy and being transgender? Is it possible to be in the wrong body?

Explore the answers to these questions with an easy-to-follow examination of what it means to be transgender, based on personal experiences of the men and women who have taken steps to transition. Learn from the experiences of transgender young people who make the significant choice to live openly as another gender while still in high school. Uncover the reality of this often-misunderstood group and how it fits into the gay community.

Holocaust Remembrance & Judy Shepard Talk

April 7-14 is Holocaust Remembrance week, and in the LGBT community the Holocaust carries some more modern significances–only recently was the reasoning behind many gay and lesbian arrests & time concentration camps recognized publicly.

Gunther Grahiddenholocaustu discusses LGBT persecution in Germany during World War II in his book Hidden Holocaust?, highlighting some aspects of the Holocaust that are not as well-known as others.

And though much progress has been made against LGBTQ violence, hate crimes are still very much a part of daily life for some LGBTQ people. This week at the Whittenberger Auditorium in the Indiana Memorial Union at IU Bloomington, Judy Shepard will speak about the murder of her son, Matthew Shepard, in Laramie, Wyoming.

Judy’s book, The Meaning of Matthew, discusses not only the death of her son, but dealing with the press and the extensive support from the LGBTQ community nationwide. Judy’s talk is on April 10, from 7:00pm – 8:30pm, and is free for students. She is a moving and heartfelt speaker, and it is well worth taking the time off from cramming for finals and projects to come and listen!


Season’s Readings!

Final papers. Family dinners. Tests. Holiday parties. Presentations. Concerts. Group project meetings.

This time of the year, everyone’s schedule seems like it is full to bursting, and stress levels are on the rise. It might seem like you don’t have time, but consider kicking back with a book for a half hour one night in to take a break from studying (or from your family)!

The times that are the most hectic are those where we need to step back and take a breath; we need to get away from email and chatting, put down your phone, and give your eyes a break from the computer screen after a long day. So cozy up on the couch next to a real or imaginary fire, and take some time for yourself with one of our staff’s favorites!

Carol: Stone Butch Blues, by Leslie Fielding

Stone Butch Blues
One of the most frequently checked out books in our library!










Doug: Openly Bob, by Bob Smith

Openly Bob
I laughed out loud while reading it one summer! ~Doug
















XanderMe: Stories of My Life, by Katharine Hepburn

Me: Stories of My Life
I didn’t have a choice! ~Xander














JeffreyCall Me by Your Name, by Andre Aciman

Call Me by Your Name












KatieThe Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde

Picture of Dorian Gray
I get the chills every time I read it! Perfect for a dark and stormy night. ~Katie














Out of town? Ask your local librarian for a suggestion!

Happy holidays!

Dangerous Reading

Banned Books Week is here again! 2012 marks the 30th anniversary of the Freedom to Read movement.

Why does it matter?

The US Constitution not only supports the right to free speech, it also promotes freedom of access to information. Organizations (especially libraries, whose primary mission it is to support lifelong learning and provide access to information) that seek to censor certain materials from their surrounding communities are not just withholding information, but are actively damaging the quality of information being provided. An informed population is a critically thinking population. Without the ability to read and think about all aspects of themes addressed in literature (themes which stem from real life), there is necessarily a decline in the critical analysis skills of a population.

In 2010, a school district in California withdrew Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary from their schools after a parent complained that their child had come across the term “oral sex.” Yes, the dictionary contains vulgar terms; it is meant to reflect the vocabulary used by the surrounding culture, a valuable reference resource. Removing an upper-reading-level dictionary from schools inhibits the expansion of the vocabulary of the students (not to mention working towards the utterly ridiculous goal of suppression of personal intellectual exploration).

Some of the most frequently banned books are children’s books, often banned for gay-positive content or ideas deemed too complex to be suitable for children. But as Margaret Mead said, “Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.”  Limiting a child’s ability to explore their world and engage with new ideas is socially destructive. If someone does not learn to reason and in youth, they will not be a reasonable person in adulthood. A large population of adults that do not have critical thinking skills is a society that will not be successful or easy to live in–especially for minority groups.

The ALA keeps track of the most frequently banned books each decade, and also posts an annual list of banned and challenged books.

The stories behind banned and challenged books are not always negative, however. In 2005, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Austin, Texas–a prestigious private school–retained their right to keep Annie Proulx’s novel Brokeback Mountain on their suggested optional reading list for senior-level English and in their library. Despite facing rage from the surrounding majority conservative community, and the withdrawal of approximately $3 million dollars in funding for a new building, the school board voted to keep the book on the reading list. This victory for intellectual freedom shows that even in the face of extreme pressure, school boards and other committees need not submit to censorship.

With most public libraries holding to some variation of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions’ (IFLA’s) guidelines on collection development, US libraries are privileged to provide access to banned and challenged books throughout the country.

What will you do with this privilege? Take the plunge into some of the best literature ever written: visit your local library and find a banned book to read.

If you’re in the Bloomington area, visit the GLBT Library to find new favorite! Just look for the  , or browse our banned books display.

How is Your Health?

Photo courtesy of the World Association for Sexual Health

This past Tuesday, September 4th, was World Sexual Health Day. The World Association for Sexual Health (WASH) works toward creating an environment that is supportive of sexual health for everyone.



The World Health Organization (WHO) defines sexual rights as an integral part of basic human rights:

Sexual rights embrace human rights that are already recognized in national laws, international human rights documents and other consensus statements. They include the right of all persons, free of coercion, discrimination and violence, to:

  • The highest attainable standard of sexual health, including access to sexual and reproductive health care services;
  • Seek, receive, and impart information in relation to sexuality;
  • Sexuality education;
  • Respect for bodily integrity,
  • Choice of partner;
  • Decide to be sexually active or not;
  • Consensual sexual relations;
  • Consensual marriage;
  • Decide whether or not, and when to have children; and
  • Pursue a satisfying, safe, and pleasurable sexual life (WHO 2002a, as cited in the Millennium Declaration by WASH).

The goals laid out by the World Association for Sexual Health in the Millennium Declaration describe actions needed to achieve the ideal of sexual health and equality for all people: ideals that can be realized only with support from individuals as well as organizations throughout the population.

Read the Millennium Declaration here:

Listed below are the eight goals of the World Association for Sexual Health, and some resources from our library that can help elaborate on these ideas.

1. Recognize, promote, ensure and protect sexual rights for all:

Sexual Justice, by Morris Kaplan
Sexual Justice, by Morris Kaplan









2. Advance toward gender equality and equity:

Myths of Gender: Biological Theories about Women and Men, by Anne Fausto-Sterling









3. Condemn, combat, and reduce all forms of sexuality related violence:

Boys Don’t Cry, based on the true story of Brandon Teena









4. Provide universal access to comprehensive sexuality education and information:

Activist Educators, edited by Catherine Marshall and Amy Anderson



5. Ensure that reproductive health programs recognize the centrality of sexual health 5

Women’s Health: Missing from US Medicine, by Sue Rosse




6. Halt and reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STI):


Against the Odds: The Story of AIDS Drug Development, Politics and Profits









7. Identify, address and treat sexual concerns, dysfunctions and disorders:


Between XX and XY: Intersexuality and the Myth of Two Sexes










8. Achieve recognition of sexual pleasure as a component of holistic health and well-being


The Care of the Self: The History of Sexuality, Volume 3, by Michel Foucault














WHO. (2002a) Working Definitions.


Our New Online Catalog

In case you haven’t already noticed, one of the biggest recent changes at the library is that our catalog is now available online through LibraryThing.  If you’re new to LibraryThing or if you want to learn more, take a look at our guide to using LibraryThing. You can easily search for books or browse the collection using tags.  Below are some extra tips for your hunt!

  • If you get too many results using title keywords, try adding on the year the book was published. (example: the search  gay life gets 102 results, but gay life 2007 gets only 2 results)
  • Like Google, LibraryThing will search all words together as a phrase if you add quotation marks.  (example: gay life = search for books with gay and life in the title, “gay life” = search for term  gay life) Check out LibraryThing’s wiki for more in depth search tips.

Unfortunately call numbers can’t be represented with ease in this new system.  Call numbers are now represented in the tags assigned to each book.  Just click on the tags tab to view.

(example: 2 History means that 2 is the first number of the item’s call number,  9.65 Horror indicates that the first three numbers of the items call number.)

The call numbers for DVDs work a bit differently.  Once you locate the item you want in the catalog, write down the first four letters of the title and the year the item was published. The word “the” is ignored.  This gives you the call number for feature films. (example: Orlando=ORLA 1999, The Rocky Horror Picture Show=ROCK 1998)

Add DOC to the beginning of all this and you’ve got the call number for a DVD documentary. (example: Tongues Untied=DOC TONG 1991)

For television series, add TV. (example: Angels in America=TV ANGE 2004)

As always, if you have trouble locating something feel free to ask for assistance!